Standing in dance class clad in my perfectly pink tutu and dreaming of pointe shoes, my five-year old self yearned to be a ballerina. Fast forward to the present, and I still secretly wish I was a professional dancer. But now I spend most of my time living vicariously through YouTube videos, and So You Think You Can Dance…
Which is why you can imagine my excitement when Boston Ballet unveiled the first full-length ballet of its much anticipated 50th season this weekend. “La Bayadere” is a classic must-see ballet, and Florence Clerc’s adaptation breathes new life into the age old story. Here are my top five reasons why you should put down the books this fall, and hop on the T to see La Bayadere:
1. La Bayadere tells a classic story of love, betrayal and revenge.
Set in India, La Bayadere is a classic story reflecting timeless emotions and timely concerns. It tells a passional tale of love, betrayal, and revenge. Nikiya, a temple dancer, falls in love with a young warrior named Solor. However, Solor was selected to be engaged to Gamzatti, the daughter of the Rajah. Nikiya, unware of this arrangement agrees to dance at the couple’s wedding celebrations. Tired of your own drama? Immerse yourself in the world of La Bayadere and see how these timeless human emotions play out.
2. Florence Clerc’s adaptation brings a new and exciting twist through the nuances in her choreography.
Florence Clerc’s adaptation of Marius Pepita’s choreography incorporates non-Western dance technique to create an interesting interpretation of the theme which is particularly memorable. While classical ballet is known for its clear, straight lines, Clerc’s choreography uses Oriental-inspired arms to stylize the movement. Instead of the relaxed traditional ballet hand, Clerc uses the flexed mudra hand with a flexed-wrist where dancers touch their thumb to index finger. The show’s whimsical and ethereal quality as demonstrated through Clerc’s re-staging gives the ballet a unique embodiment of the story’s essence in a subtle way.
3. The Golden Idol variation combines visceral strength and artistry, a main component in the proper execution of such a technically challenging ballet.
The Golden Idol variation traditionally performed in the second act is one of my absolute favorites. It is an incredibly demanding piece, with a challenging combination of anti-gravity jumps and powerful, speedy, skillful movements. The choreography includes 5 sections (four of which are jumping sections) in a span of three minutes. Don’t let the length of this piece fool you — the phenomenal stage presence of both Jeffrey Cirio and Isaac Akiba painted from head-to-toe in gold paint ensures that this piece will be one of the most memorable and striking pieces in the show.
With turning rotating stag leaps, double sous de chats, and quad tours, the pure stamina needed to not only get through this piece, but to execute it well is mind boggling. Seriously. Take a look at this one, and then try and tell me that dance isn’t a sport. I dare you.
4. The Kingdom of Shades is one of the most mesmerizing classical performances in all of ballet.
Part of what makes La Bayadere one of the greatest 19th century ballets is the Kingdom of Shades, one of the most mesmerizing classical performances in all of ballet. Imagine 24 dancers symbolizing ghosts (or “Shades”) dressed all in white, entering one at a time performing arabesques penchees decending slowly down a ramp which symbolizes their appearance from the netherworld.
The ethereal effect is created by combining deceptively simple steps, with the first dancer out of the gate repeating them 38 times until all the women have joined her onstage. Boston Ballet’s rendition of the Kingdom of Shades aptly set at the end of the third act, does a fabulous job of keeping the steps clean, and precisely executed while still maintaining the nuanced sad strength of the shadows. Their decent down the ramp is followed by a beautiful lyrical adagio done in six lines of four dancers, extending both the beauty and rigor of the performance. Few scenes in ballet are more pure than the Kingdom of Shades.
5. Boston Ballet offers discounted student rush ticket options.
The best part? Boston Ballet has two different student rush ticket options. There are student rush tickets available for $20 two hours before the show on the day of the performance, which you can get by stopping by the Boston Opera House Box Office. If you want to plan a little further in advance, a limited amount of $30 advance student rush tickets are available for select performances. For more information, visit bostonballet.com<http://bostonballet.com>.
Morgan Burch, New Media’s regent go-getter, set out to learn how to dance La Salsa, and who better to teach her than Tufts La Salsa. Watch after the jump!
Trigger Warning: this post discusses sexual assault and rape.
In the face of national incidents such as the Stuebenville rape cases, the Tufts community has come together to speak out against the rape culture on college campuses across the country.
Students may have seen the testimonials of sexual assault survivors in the Mayer Campus Center, and others may have heard the so called “consent vigilantes” outside the buses before they departed for Winter Bash.
Some of the leading voices in this educational and activist movement have been members of Tufts Action for Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP) and the Consent Culture Network.
“We’re really trying to be a pressence for consent, promote awareness of it, and promote awareness of the resources on campus,” said freshman Bruce Bausk, a member of ASAP, told the Daily.
After their last nights dancing on the Cohen Auditorium stage, the seniors Spirit of Color (SoC) dance group were emotional and nostalgic. Take a look at their ‘senior dance’ one last time and hear about their favorite moments dancing over the last four years:
Warning: Explicit language.
Take a look inside the VSC Culture show, from dragons, to eating contests, to setting up and everything in between as the students promote Vietnamese customs.
The Tufts Department of Drama and Dance presents for a second weekend Charles Mee’s ‘bobrauschenbergamerica,’ directed by Natalya Baldyga in collaboration with Daniel McKusker. The play is an unconventional piece that combines chickens, roller skating, americana, dance and audience participation for a truly unique, immersive theater experience.
Watch a preview of the show here:
Performances are Thursday-Saturday April 18-20 at 8PM in Balch Arena Theater. Tickets for Thursday’s performance are only $1, while Friday and Saturday’s cost $7.
North Korea has been in the news recently for it’s recent threats of nuclear proliferation, but the new student group LiNK (Liberty in North Korea) is looking to educate students about the refugee crisis in the East Asian nation. See their advocacy in the works here:
Practice your tongue twisters and put on your thinking caps, because Tufts will be hosting a Spelling Bee on Monday and Tuesday night. Well – Torn Ticket II will be holding it’s workshop production of the classic musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in Barnum 008. To get a dose of some of the laughs, catchy tunes, and ridiculous antics, watch the preview below:
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will be performed in Barnum 008 at 8PM on Monday April, 15 and 9:15PM on Tuesday April 16. Admission is free with no tickets required.
Torn Ticket II’s workshop production of Cunningham and Saltzman’s “I Love You Because” premieres Friday and Saturday at 8PM in the Crane Room. Hear some of the catchy tunes and hear from one of it’s stars, Maya Grodman, and music director Melissa Weikart in this video: